• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Zelenskyy blasts Modi-Putin meet the same day Moscow attacks Ukraine hospital

Russia carried out missile attacks across a number of Ukrainian cities ahead of the NATO summit in the US, killing more than 30 people and leaving nearly 200 injured.

(L-R) Russian president Vladimir Putin (Photo by SERGEY ILYIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images), Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo by GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

UKRAINIAN president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday (8) expressed “huge disappointment” over Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia the same day and felt it gave a “devastating blow to peace efforts”.

It was also on Monday that a Russian missile hit Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital in capital Kyiv where many youngsters undergo cancer treatment. The number of casualties were not immediately known and many children were feared to have been buried under the rubble. Russian forces carried out attacks across at least five cities of the east European nation, killing dozens and injuring nearly 200. The attacks happened as Zelenskyy visited Warsaw in Poland before leaving for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Washington beginning Tuesday (9), where he was likely to seek more military backup from Ukraine’s allies.

Zelenskyy, who met Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy last month, said in a post on X on Monday, “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day,” referring to the devastating attacks carried out by Putin’s military.

Read: Putin praises Modi at ‘private’ meeting: ‘You have devoted your entire life…’

In June, Modi said after meeting Zelenskyy that India is eager to “further cement bilateral relations with Ukraine” and stressed on a “human-centric approach” related to the ongoing conflict in that country. He also said the way to peace is through dialogue and diplomacy.

Read: Modi shares ‘real story’ of India’s T20 World Cup in Moscow diaspora speech

The Ukrainian president’s strong words came at a time when Modi had a ‘private engagement’ with Putin at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow. The leader was on a two-day visit to Russia, one of India’s time-tested allies, and images and videos emerged showing him hugging Putin, interacting over tea, riding an electric vehicle driven by the host leader and visiting a stable where Putin was seen feeding a horse.

While Putin praised Modi during their talks, Modi hailed ties between India and Russia while addressing the Indian diaspora in Moscow. While announcing the opening of two new Indian consulates in the Russian cities of Yekaterinburg and Kazan to “facilitate travel and business”, Modi said, “No matter if the temperatures in Russia are in minus, Russia-India friendship has always been in plus.”

He added, “This is a relationship built on a foundation of mutual trust and mutual respect.”

Modi skipped the Ukraine peace summit which was held in Switzerland soon after the G7 talks in neighbouring Italy and a senior Indian diplomat visited it instead. New Delhi has not criticised Russia following its military adventure in Ukraine nor imposed sanctions over it. It has also abstained from voting on most anti-Russia resolutions at the United Nations and bought oil from Moscow at discounted prices despite the West imposing sanctions against it.

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